Massage Therapy as an Alternative to Opioids

Distressed person with hands on face

For 19 years, between 1999 and 2018, about 750,000 people have died from an overdose of either prescription or illicit opioids. In 2013, a new wave of deaths began with the use of synthetic opioids, including manufactured fentanyl which is a synthetic opioid pain reliever. Today, fentanyl continues to be used in combinations with heroin, counterfeit pills and cocaine. Abuse of opioids continues to be a problem, as two out of three overdose deaths involve opioid use. Opioids were designed to be pain relievers, but as with most pain medication, it is possible to become addicted to the drug to the point of misuse. Instead of using opioids for pain management, consider alternatives such as massage therapy. Massage therapy can be a safe way to help manage your pain. Keep reading to find out more.


Your Evaluation

During your first massage appointment, the therapist will ask you questions relating to your pain levels and the location of your pain. The therapist may ask some questions about your health history and any symptoms you may be experiencing. The more specific you are, the more likely your therapist will be able to treat you. You will also need to inform the therapist of any medications you are taking.


Conditions that Massage Therapy Can Help

Massage therapy is a wonderful way to help relax the body and increase blood circulation. It can help reduce your blood pressure and stress levels. If you suffer from frequent migraines, headaches, fatigue and even depression, massage therapy is a great way to combat these issues. If you are an athlete and find yourself repeatedly injuring a particular area of your body, having a massage can help manage your pain and promote healing. If you are one of the many who suffer from lower back pain, massage therapy is another option for relief, rather than relying on pain medications. Massage therapy is not only helpful for those who need help managing their pain. It can also serve as part of a treatment plan for individuals who suffer from ailments such as fibromyalgia and arthritis. For sufferers of fibromyalgia, it can relieve pain, improve your quality of life, decrease stress, stiffness and fatigue. Similarly, for those who suffer from arthritis, massage treatment can relieve pain, improve grip strength and improve range of motion. For those who have recently had surgery, massage therapy can help manage pain as well as reduce it, decrease stress, muscular tension and help the individual to recover faster. Massage has even proven effective for cancer patients as they experience pain, nausea, stress, depression and fatigue. 


Types of Available Massage

There are many different types of massages to try. Each one is designed to help alleviate pain, and each one serves a different purpose. A deep tissue massage, for example, will help to relieve stress within the connective tissue. It is a wonderful massage for those who deal with chronic pain, limited mobility, have posture issues or are experiencing general discomfort. A chair massage helps to loosen muscles that are the most tense. This treatment is especially helpful for those who sit for most of the day, as it will help loosen the tension in your body and promote relaxation. The therapeutic massage provides therapeutic results for your mind and body, helping your body stretch and release tension. The Swedish massage is one of the most commonly used massage techniques, as it greatly decreases stress and anxiety. It helps to stimulate circulation through the upper part of the body and releases tension as well.


Massage treatment is designed to help you relax as much as possible. If you are uncomfortable with being undressed, speak to the therapist. You are allowed to decide how much or how little clothing you wear. You will also be covered with a clean sheet and blanket. Do not be surprised if after your treatment you experience drowsiness, or have a burst of energy. Massages help to release toxins within the body, so it is recommended that you drink lots of water to help flush them out of your system. 


If you are looking for a way to manage your pain without the use of medication, consider massage therapy. You may discover that your pain is under control, and you are also feeling less stressed and more mobile. See what we have to offer for you and schedule an appointment today.